- Title: CROATIA: CROATIA MEET ITALY IN GROUP FOUR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SOCCER QUALIFIER
- Date: 7th October 1995
- Summary: SPLIT, CROATIA (OCTOBER 7, 1995) 1. CROATIAN TEAM TRAINING IN STADIUM AT NIGHT 2. CROATIAN COACH MIROSLAV BLAZEVIC SPEAKING: "THE CROATIAN TEAM IS THE BEST TEAM IN EUROPE IF WE TALK ABOUT CONCENTRATION OF QUALITY. I KNOW VERY WELL ALL OF THE EUROPEAN TEAMS BUT NONE HAS THAT KIND OF CONCENTRATION OF QUALITY....MY MOST VITAL REASON FOR OPTITMISM IS THEIR UNITY, PATRIOTISM AND THEY ARE CONSCIOUS THAT IN SUCH A WAY THEY CAN AFFIRM THEIR COUNTRY WHICH THEY LOVE VERY MUCH, SUCH MOTIVATION THE OTHER TEAMS DON'T HAVE." 4. CROATIAN CAPTAIN, ZVONIMIR BOBAN SPEAKING (ENGLISH): "THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MATCH, WE SHOULD WIN, WE HAVE TO WIN. ITALY IS A VERY GOOD TEAM AFTER BRAZIL, THEY ARE THE VICE CHAMPIONS AND WE SHOULD NOT UNDERESTIMATE THEM." (ENGLISH) 5. ITALIAN TEAM LEAVING PLANE 6. ITALIAN COACH ARRIGO SACCHI SPEAKING (ITALIAN):"I BELIEVE THAT CROATIA IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST TEAMS, LET'S NOT FORGET THAT YOU (CROATS) HAVE BEATEN THE VICE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD ON THEIR HOME TURF, THEREFORE IT SHOWS THE GREAT VALUE OF THIS (CROATIAN TEAM). (ITALIAN) 7. ITALIAN TEAM CLIMB ABOARD COACH 8. ARRIGO SACCHI SPEAKING: "I HOPE THAT WE WILL SEE A GREAT MATCH TOMORROW, A MATCH IN WHICH THE BETTER TEAM WILL WIN." (ITALIAN) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 22nd October 1995 12:00
- Location: SPLIT, CROATIA
- Country: Croatia
- Reuters ID: LVACQ8BT7J6FFRZ89V7EZXGYI7QT
- Story Text: Croatia meet Italy in Split on Sunday (October 8) in a crucial group four European championship soccer qualifier.
The visitors will be hoping to avenge a 2-1 home defeat by Croatia last November which means the hosts lead the group by three points from Italy.
Croatian coach Miroslav Blazevic is particularly worried about Italy's 20-year-old midfielder Alessandro Del Piero will have in Sunday's match. Blazevic rates him the best player in the world.
Croatia have lost three key defenders, Zvonimir Soldo, Slaven Bilic and Robert Jarni, through injury.
Italy had their own injury worry when Juventus goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi was injured on Saturday (October 7) in practice and coach Arrigo Sacchi brought in Parma's Luca Bucci with Fiorentina's Francesco Toldo as reserve.
Blazevic said his team was the best in Europe in terms of concentration of quality players who were motivated by a strong sense of patriotism.
Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban said it was an important match which Croatia should win and and had to win but, as World Cup runners-up, Italy should not be underestimated.
Sacchi also paid tribute to the opposition who beat his team in Italy.
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